This summer Texas has reached record elevated temperatures. But you can easily escape the heat if you are one of those lucky homeowners with pools in your backyard. Pools add value to your home but at the same time increase a homeowner’s insurance premium. A pool becomes a risk as it can attract and pose a danger to an unsupervised child or during backyard parties. A homeowner’s policy covers your home along with other structures such as a tool shed and your pool depending on the insurer. You will need to verify pool coverage and how it will impact your home’s replacement cost value or personal property limit.
Depending on your insurance coverage, the addition of a pool can be covered in two ways. First, if your pool is damaged by a covered peril the insurance may help pay for repairs. Covered risks include fire and falling objects for repairs up to the limits stated on your policy. And second, your homeowner’s policy includes liability coverage that will pay for expenses of pool related incidents. Before purchasing a home with a pool or think about adding one to your backyard, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Impact of Pools on Homeowner’s Insurance Policies
- An increase in property value or risk, will need an increase in insurance coverage
You will need to consider increasing your coverage to reflect both the increase in value and risk of owning a pool. First, confirm that your current homeowner’s policy covers swimming pools, if not you must add coverage. And as stated previously, consider increasing your liability coverage to protect yourself. Liability protection will cover any medical expenses or lawsuits that arise from pool related injury or death. If someone gets injured in or around your pool you will be responsible for their medical bills and other damages. Coverage does not include you or members of your household.
- Take the necessary safety measures required if your home has a pool
Homeowners are responsible for taking the appropriate safety measures to protect children and others from potential dangers. Some safety measures include a fence around perimeter of the pool, provide accessible safety equipment and posting a sign. If your home opens directly into the pool area, consider adding a door alarm and a safety cover to keep pets, children and other non-swimmers safe.
- Pool equipment, furniture and other accessories increase value of personal property
When reviewing or purchasing homeowner’s insurance be sure to include any pool or patio items of value. List the value of each item and total the amount to ensure you are purchasing enough coverage for personal property. Also ask whether there is a per item limit and what is the maximum amount payable of a single item.
Contact any of our offices for information on homeowners’ policies and coverage.